MEANING: Just as Tadasana or mountain pose is the foundation for all of the standing poses, Dandasana or ‘staff’ pose is the foundation for the seated forward bends and twists. The staff in this case refers to the spine – the body’s central axis and this posture offers a wonderful way to test your bodies alignment.
– Strengthens the legs and particularly works the hamstrings
– Lengthens and realigns the spine
– Creates heat and energy in the body
– Prepares you for other postures
HOW TO DO IT:
• Simply sit up against the wall – you may find this is harder than you think, so you can sit on a support if this eases any over exertion in your hips or hamstrings. The sacrum and the shoulder blades should touch the wall, but not the back of the head.
• Sit towards the front of the sitting bones and grow up from the pubis and the tailbone.
• Without hardening the belly, firm the thighs, rotate them slightly towards each other and imagine drawing the inner groins towards the sacrum.
• Stay in the posture for as long as you can and feel the energy you are creating travelling up and down your spine – the staff. Breathe long and deep and imagine stretching and lengthening the muscles in your body as you do.
HELPFUL HINT: The natural tendency in this posture is to reach forward. But this in itself is a different pose (Called Paschimottanasana), so try staying with this for a while, until you can feel your body lengthening. We need length to be able to move forward into the next posture with integrity. Come back next week for Paschimottanasana.